The modern workplace has evolved. More and more people work remotely or through a hybrid model, where they work both at home and in the office. The rise of technology has made it possible for employees to work anywhere, and the recent pandemic created a need for organizations and employees to adapt to this new work model.
While the hybrid work environment may create challenges, it also creates opportunities. Kensington has ensured compatibility with Microsoft and Apple products to provide ergonomic solutions for all workstations, both remote and for those who are returning to the office.
Why Ergonomics is so Important
If you’re not careful, your body can eventually feel the adverse effects of a prolonged awkward stance or repetitive movements. One way to prevent pain and discomfort in your hands, arms, neck, back, or legs while working is with an ergonomic workstation.
What is ergonomics? It’s the design and arrangement of equipment to maximize safety while in use. Ergonomics are essential for all industries, but they’re especially paramount in the workplace because of the potential risks that could arise due to a poor physical environment.
5 Ergonomic Tips to Consider for the Hybrid Workplace
The hybrid workplace is the new normal. Even now, with businesses facing a post-pandemic work environment, there is still a call for a hybrid workforce. Experts agree that by 2025, 22% of American workers will still be working remotely at least half the time.
That means companies need to implement new strategies for keeping their workforce healthy in a world where people are spending more of their day on computers or mobile devices. Here are five of the best ergonomic tips to consider if you employ a hybrid work model.
1. Consider Purchasing Mobile Equipment
Mobile equipment is essential for employees who will not be in the office full time. Yet, when it comes to ergonomics, we know that standing for a portion of the day is the best way to promote proper posture and alleviate stress points in the back and rear end.
Investing in a monitor arm at the office is an excellent choice for creating an ergonomic workstation. However, for hybrid and remote workers, Kensington has provided the SmartFit® Easy Riser™ Go Adjustable Ergonomic Riser. This handy accessory lifts your laptop up to 7" to offer optimal eye alignment with the screen.
Once your laptop screen is at optimal eye level, you will need an external keyboard and mouse to use for the best posture and comfort. It's helpful to provide these items as a kit to your employees to make them easy to set up and comfortable wherever they go.
Kensington offers a Multi-Device Dual Wireless Compact Keyboard for easy transport between home and the office. Also, their Pro Fit® Ergo Vertical Wireless Mouse works well for hybrid and remote workers.
2. Consider Upping the Comfort
Comfort is essential when it comes to a productive workstation. Helping your hybrid and remote workers create a cohesive and ergonomic workspace at home will benefit both the employee and your organization.
Consider allowing them to use a chair from the office with armrests. Alternately, you could encourage them to purchase a chair that best suits their comfort needs while working from home.
Purchasing a new chair can be costly. An alternative to consider is providing your staff with a seat cushion or backrest to make their current office chair more comfortable. Kensington offers the Ergonomic Memory Foam Seat Cushion, the Kensington® HalfBack® Pad backrest, and a selection of keyboard drawers to ensure that the keyboard is in the best position for typing comfortably.
3. Consider Helping Employees Feel Connected
Hybrid workers and those who work remotely often feel like connecting at the office is a challenge. They fumble with wire and struggle to find cords that connect to the available ports. You can prevent this by ensuring that each remote and hybrid worker remains connected with the use of Kensington’s Docking Stations, which can provide universal compatibility, no matter what device an employee is using outside the office.
Furthermore, with 70% of companies planning to invest in their IT infrastructure to secure virtual connectivity, employees will never feel disconnected from their colleagues or the rest of their organization.
Having a docking station to connect with ease is more than just about the physical comfort of ergonomics. It can also mean the mental comfort that comes with docking device without fumbling for a connection. That way, employees can sit down and work with a clear head.
4. Consider Encouraging Microbreaks
Microbreaks are a new trend when it comes to creating an ergonomic work environment. This new trend entails taking breaks every 20 minutes or so, for approximately 20 seconds, even if that means simply standing up and sitting back down to reset your body posture.
To best implement microbreaks, you should design tasks that employees can complete in 20-minute increments, or where they can step away from the project in specific intervals. This technique is incredibly helpful when it comes to minimizing fatigue.
Nearly 65% of Americans report coping with symptoms of digital eye fatigue and require frequent breaks from staring at screens for long periods. For this reason, you should consider encouraging staff to take breaks every hour, instead of every four hours, especially when working on long projects. This will help keep fatigue levels down and allow workers’ eyes and brains time to rest during these periods. You should also consider a blue light filter for your laptop or monitor.
5. Consider Placing Footrests at All Workstations
For maximum ergonomic solutions in comfort, consider Kensington's line of footrests. By providing a footrest at every workstation in the office, you ensure that every employee assigned to work at the office has the best ergonomic support, starting from the ground up.
Many people in hybrid spaces will be working at different workstations throughout the day, with no assigned office space. Provide them the luxury of comfort by being able to have their feet resting on either the floor or a footrest, depending on their posture and physical stature.
Kensington Provides Ergonomic Solutions for the Hybrid Workstation, Remote or in the Office
Wherever your employees are working, make sure that their space is ergonomically friendly. One of the biggest challenges of deploying a hybrid workforce is ensuring an ergonomic workplace for all your employees, including hybrid and remote workers. At Kensington, we have a line of products designed to ease the problems that hybrid work models can create.
Help employees keep good posture and improve physical health by sitting with a neutral spine, encouraging periodical standing, and allowing frequent breaks. These tips will help relieve any strain on an employee's neck or shoulders while typing at a keyboard.
Furthermore, consider the ergonomics at your own desk. It is crucial to provide your staff with what employees need to remain productive, but do not ignore the needs you have for an ergonomically friendly workstation.
Are you looking to improve the ergonomics for your employees, whether they are working remotely or in the office? Contact us today and let our helpful professionals get your office ergonomically friendly.